Verbumprogram – Achromia

A devotion to the analysis of fundamental questions of the theory of art or the philosophy of its language in the circumstances of complex experiences of the creativity of the 20. century is not so frequent among artists. The traditionalistic assumption that the relation towards art is strictly differentiated on two sides is basic here: the claim to the creative act itself is layed by creator; problem of theory and criticism are transmited mainly to art historians, aestheticians and philosophers of other origins. Vladimir Mattioni and Ratomir Kulić have most directly tied their own creative-theoretical activity in the area of recognition of essential fea-tures of the function of language of formation in the most strict region of art working. 

What is the main feature of picturality? It is exactly this question that is in the focus of twofold activity of the artistic pair Kulić-Mattioni. On the examples of their own, ultimately reduced, minimalistic geometrism, they are pointing to the understanding of the art, which converges with strict contemplative approach, out of which they appear. Sightness of the works provokes us to think of the most recent form-pattern, known as neo-geo. Reflections of this actual event are noticable all over their creative intentions. On the other hand, their critico-theoretical content, which is parallel with their art activity, was penetrating toward the very essence of the meaning of an art object. It is possible to trace the inceptions of such projections since the time they were working in the art workshop of SKC, in midseventhies, as well as from the time of, now historical, April Meetings, in the same space. Ideas, that had its fruit-ful ground in general creative and comprehensional transformation of that period, have clearly set themselves in the works and comprehendings of Kulić and Mattioni. 

Going through several phases afterwadds, during which these two authors constantly cleansed their own ideas, working on several different programs, they have arrived to current project which bears the title Achromia. Basic features of these works, in the meaning of the pictural, are pure geometry, grid-form and a special kind of non-colouredness which is, basically, reflected in black-white relations and valeuric nuances inside of that. Appearance of these reduced geometrical forms of ultimately simple content, defines the certain visual identity on the basis of which Kulić and Mattioni demonstrate their philosophical and artistic postulates. lcon is the basic unit in their system and it is semanticaly and ontologicaly varied remaining in its form unique and unchangeble. 

In a very small number of examples of stylistics of the new geometrism in yugoslav art, the position of Kulić and Mattioni is probably designated in the best way, with the full consciousness about the form and its place in the system of picturality, which provides them an eminent place whithin other, relaled movements in contemporary art.

Jovan Despotovic

Grand Gallery of the Cultural Center, Novi Sad, 1989